The tumors grow faster in people who suffer from sleep apnea, the disorder that interferes with breathing during sleep. Experts have found that such a disruption in the supply of oxygen favors the development of malignant cells.

The condition in which the muscles of the throat and neck have limited oxygen supply it is causing shortages of oxygen to vital organs. In response, the body releases a protein that promotes formation of more blood vessels. This enhances the oxygen supply, but also feeds cancer cells and favors their development.

Apnea is most common in middle-aged overweight men. It has already been previously known that this condition doubles the risk of stroke and increases the risk of heart disease by 80%.

However, such cases are often not properly diagnosed, but many people are not aware of their problems. Experts Clinic in Barcelona has found that this condition encourages the development of tumor cells because they studied hypoxia – lack of oxygen – in mice.

The findings suggest that treatment of sleep apnea in patients with cancer, for example, by wearing special masks could reduce the risk of spread of tumor cells.

Doctor Antoni Vilášek says: “Hypoxia has the potential to stimulate the formation of new blood vessels inside tumors, which means they will have access to nutrients. This study reveals the mechanism through which states that limits the supply of oxygen, such as sleep apnea, conducive to the development of cancer.”

Results of this research were presented at a conference in Munich, Germany. The head of the University of Tuebingen, Professor Arnulf Stenzl, says: The study shows why an increased supply of oxygen, for example, regular sports activities can influence in a positive outcome in the treatment of cancer.